Former Prez bats for raising LS strength, cautions against majoritarianism


PTI, Dec 17, 2019, 9:32 AM IST

New Delhi: Former President Pranab Mukherjee on Monday pitched for raising the number of Lok Sabha constituencies to 1,000 from the existing 543 and for a corresponding increase in Rajya Sabha’s strength, arguing that India has a “disproportionately large size” of electorate for elected representatives.

Delivering the second Atal Vihari Vajpayee memorial lecture organised by India Foundation here, he said the last time the strength of Lok Sabha was revised was in 1977 which, he noted, was based on the 1971 census that put the total population at 55 crore.

The population since then has more than doubled, and there was a “strong case” to remove the freeze in the delimitation exercise. It should be ideally increased to 1,000, he added.

On the occasion, he also hailed Vajpayee as a consensus-builder who worked to take everyone along and noted that people may have given strong majorities to different parties since 1952 but over 50 per cent of them have never voted for one party.

“A numerical majority in elections gives you the right to make a stable government. The lack of popular majority forbids you from a majoritarian government. That is the message and essence of our parliamentary democracy,” he said.

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